Posted on November 4th, 2023
It was beautiful today! So beautiful, in fact, that I couldn’t pass up the chance to get on the water myself. Had a great time catching and releasing about 15 short flounder in the east channel on the Deadly Tackle Deadly Double in chartreuse and then caught a couple of sheepshead on the south jetty using the Deadly Tackle tog/bottom jig in orange with some nasty frozen sand fleas. It was an awesome day!
Captain Chase Eberle of Chasin’ Tides had a great day on the flat calm ocean today with some good keeper flounder action. Little Auburn put a good one in the box at 23″.
I saw Big Bird Cropper out there fishing with our buddy Danny Winn and they had some fun out there too. Bird and Danny caught and released some rockfish and Bird also caught a nice 19″ tautog on a Roy rig.
Captain Chris Mizurak of the Angler reported a nice day today with flat calm ocean conditions and good fishing for sea bass and flounder with some fish to over 5 pounds.
Bryan Reynolds had a couple of nice tautog today and a sheepshead to round things out.
Will Sonneman had a great day in his kayak today putting a limit of tautog in the cooler using sand fleas and green crabs.
It was a little harder fought today, but Captain Monty Hawkins of the Morning Star got his anglers another boat limit of sea bass and he’s got space open for tomorrow’s trip in more beautiful weather.
Departed the inlet with scarce-barely a hint of sunrise to the east. Again arriving at Uncle Murphy’s Reef, young Misters Finley and John (with assistance from a somewhat larger mate Brian) built a tiny piece of reef next to the landing craft.> Right next to it. > Yup, well, it’s a hard shot some days.. > Pressed on a considerable way before starting, not on, but very near where Cathy had her best shot of fish yesterday. > And, as a youngster might have said, “That was soooo yesterday.” > Dang. Catching doubles around the rail for over ten minutes only produced two keepers. > > O-kaaaaayyy.. > > Next stop? Didn’t stop. One of my favorites – nothing of note on the screens. > Oh Boy. > At last a shot of legal cbass got the day started. Our rotund keeper of ship’s pumpkin pies & somehow appointed today’s grand master of skunkliness; Hurricane his dern-self was educating all aboard how a streak of bad luck could happen to anyone. At 11am, he was unstoppable; experiencing a truly notable run of throwbacks which included not one keeper. > Had I kept count? Not me. Had an MRIP fish counter with he and Cathy though. Plus or minus a few – he’d brought in thirty six and was still unable to stink a pan. Maybe a page in Guinness? Naaw.. Wasn’t all that but it was hard to witness. > I vowed to change his luck and broke out the thermobaric bunker buster of cbass rigs.. > While moving to our next spot I had the boys make Murray a rig with 10 (Ten!) 6/0 circle hooks. Shushing everyone all the while, when we next came to ‘lines in’ Brian cast the commercial rig off the port stern so Hurricane didn’t see it and ran the pole up to him on the stb side. > With many clients working halfway toward their limit, now at 11:10 Murray had clean ice. Twas sad to see our mirthful prince of portliness so glum, and surely not at all what I wanted clients to remember this day. Though illegal in MD with it’s two hook limit, and I won’t even allow clients a three hook rig (if you’re skunked? Maybe! So long as we’re outside three miles..) Using the rig the boys made, Hurricane Murray quickly broke his bad luck streak. First drop he caught 4 keepers and then just one, but a dandy, with all but one hook loaded on his second drop. > I told the boys to disassemble it give me my tile hooks back! The Hurricane went back to his normally quite lucky rod – caught a fat keeper – then a fat double – and another keeper. > Nine keepers in twenty minutes.. I’d have considered it rude, but Cathy was still ahead of him. > Only the second time I’ve had to resort to this tactic – worked that time too. (You out there Kevin?!) I’ve long been convinced there’s a real importance to confidence – anglers thinking, “I am going to catch..” > Well, why not. I’ll again tell the tale from 1985 when I was working deck of the old wooden Angler – the experience that cemented my belief in a ‘can do’ attitude. > Now long time friend Mark bartended at the Angler Restaurant. He got the owner, Tuffy Bunting, to let him start the “Lady Anglers Club” with some 8 or 9 of the waitresses. Unsure his intention but he did marry one of em; my skipper, Danny, & I sure didn’t mind these gals getting a free pass. > At first they weren’t too succesful. As they did more trips though they sure got the hang of it. We were constantly accused of giving them special bait and all manner of cheating in their favor. > Nope. > Just fishing.. > When sea trout season came, the girls were dialed in tight. (I’d have had a mutiny on board to sea bass fish after early-August!) > Meanwhile, the beverage truck had delivered the same exact order all season long. I had little Coke or Budweiser on hand but a slug of orange and grape soda. Pain in the neck – the storage room was all jammed up. > I sure miss the fishing. It was all two strips of squid and sometimes cut bait drifting for weakies/seatrout – spike trout. Little guys. (size limit regs killed the fishery about 1990 but didn’t help – always struck me that stripers/rockfish were dining mercilessly on em all winter) ..Sometimes catching was cotton candy, other times technique was paramount. > The Lady Anglers Club was often uniformly dressed in a way that, ahh, while maximizing tanning opportunities, distracted most of my clients. This ensured when one of the gals caught a trout – the guys knew it. Though I had surely tried to get everyone catching, my anglers would routinely become convinced I was giving the girls some magical advantage. Same rental rod rigs – same bait: just paying attention & practice. > Got it in my head one day to let everyone see their top secret special advantage. Gave the gals a grape or orange soda – had cases stacked over my head in storage – and had them ‘sweeten their bait’ before dropping. They’d pour just a tad on their bait and catch a trout. > “Give me one of them damn sodas!” > “Fifty cents sir” > ..and soon ran out. > Clients all catching fine; they were convinced they’d get bit using soda that washed off instantly as they dropped. > Ran the boss’s supply of soda down, that’s for sure. He was tickled. > Absolutely true. > All of it. > > Far more to it, but, as with most everything in life, anglers who are convinced they’re not going to succeed – won’t. > Creating a different mind set often turns their day around. > > This day? Doug & Mike boxed their sea bass up first. After a while lots of other folks did too – including Cathy. > Then, still draggin his wagon some, along came Hurricane’s limit too. > Another among our list of colorful characters, Tannk brought a bunch of buddies aboard today. I didn’t notice it with Hurricane’s “Ain’t Catchin No Fish” blues; and perhaps this was all because Tannk himself had bleached their bait or some-such so they couldn’t outfish him, but, man.. > Finally that gang too boxed out. > > I sure thought I was in trouble as the day began. Another stunningly beautiful day too. > Keeeep Fishing! > Cheers, > Monty